LifeisXbox’s South of the Circle review | It’s 1964, and the first thing you’ll see when opening the game is a crashed plane in the snow. The pilot broke his leg in the fall, and it’s up to you, the passenger, to look for help in this freezing hell, your only hope being a flashing red light in walking distance. South of the Circle is a stunning-looking and sounding adventure developed by State of Play and published by 11 bit studios.
Most Memorable Moment
The ending itself was a bit unexpected, and I didn’t quite understand a part of it, but the whole game was so visually and musically beautiful that it’s hard to pick something specific that isn’t a spoiler.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox One | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Engaging Narrative | The story holds your attention and keeps you wondering what will happen next throughout the entire game, not just at the strong start in South of the Circle. Additionally, it doesn’t just focus on the present; it also frequently provides flashbacks of your past experiences that lead you to the present and the protagonist’s happy and painful memories, including some from his early years. You’ll need to decide how to reply to each discussion, and five symbols are used for various emotional reactions you’ll be having. Confusion, panic, and concern are all represented by red circles. A light blue circle symbolises honesty, compassion, and openness. Being forceful, direct, and assertive is represented by a dark blue rectangle. Interest, enthusiasm, and curiosity are all expressed by a yellow sun. Finally, a tiny purple circle represents negativity, shyness, and melancholy.
- Amazing art | I’m not joking when I say there are many instances where you could screenshot something, frame it, and hang it in an art gallery. It’s a lovely combination of 2D and 3D, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell what’s 3D and what’s 2D apart. A behind-the-scenes option in the main menu displays a variety of concept art and even some pictures used as references; you can access these by moving forward in the narrative.
- Intense Soundtrack | South of the Circle doesn’t just look great, it also sounds great. The soundtrack manages to amplify every moment, making you feel exactly what you should in them. The sound effects and voice acting are pretty good, also matching the soundtrack and the story, making it all feel as genuine as it could have.
- Nothing | There was nothing that I think had potential but wasn’t good enough in South of the Circle.
What we Disliked
- Slightly unpolished | There were a few bugs here and there, but none of them affected the gameplay itself. There’s a point on a mountain where characters go halfway inside the surface of it instead of standing on top of said surface. A character teleported closer to a car instead of walking the whole way, she was close, but not close enough for me not to notice it. The worse bug I got was a character’s arm turning the wrong way when picking up some paperwork, his arm got inside his torso. There’s also the fact that the animation for going up and down a slope or stairs doesn’t seem to have enough frames in it, looking a little bit weird, and the collision in these aren’t perfect, sometimes making the player slightly float or have his feet go slightly into the ground.
How long to beat the story | About 3 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | About 3 hours, but there are missable achievements.
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Hi there, I’m Gabriel Colombo (Hence my reviewer name), I live in Brazil and I’ve been gaming since I was around 5 years old. Xbox became my main platform on the Xbox 360 era, before that I had played a bit on PC, Polystation (basically a skinned SNES), PlayStation 1 and 2. I really enjoy to experience immersive worlds, but I also enjoy playing silly games to have a laugh or just have fun.